There are times when tooth extraction is unavoidable. Teeth are removed because they are severely decayed, have advanced periodontal disease or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
If you must have a tooth removed, Dr. Van Stralen will discuss the risks and benefits of tooth removal and the options for replacing the tooth if necessary. The removal of a single tooth can lead to chewing and jaw joint (TMJ) problems. Teeth hold each other in position, a missing tooth can cause your other teeth to shift and your dental arch to collapse. Over many years, one lost and unreplaced tooth can cause the loss of all your teeth.
The Extraction Process
The goal of the extraction process is to remove the problem tooth with as little disruption to neighboring structures as possible. We have many techniques and specialized instruments to make this process comfortable for you and a traumatic as possible for adjacent anatomy. Usually the process will begin with the Dr. Van Stralen anesthetizing your tooth and surrounding gums with a short-acting local anesthetic. If necessary, we offer the option of sedation that enables you not to experience the procedure at all. However, many patients find that an inexpensive medication similar to valium taken orally one hour before the procedure is sufficient to make the process comfortable. If you are awake during the extraction process, you may feels light pressure as the tooth is gently removed. Anesthetic interferes with the ability of nerve cells to transmit pain stimuli, yet the nerves that transmit pressure stimuli are not profoundly affected.
Sectioning a tooth
When removing a tooth, we take great care not to damage and, if possible, not even to touch the surrounding bony. When teeth have multiple roots which diverge, we remove each root separately. To do so, we divide multi-rooted teeth into more that one piece by a process called sectioning. We perform all tooth sections with a sterilized surgical hand piece (drill) that irrigates the surgical site with sterile saline and does not exhaust air into wound.